Sales Representative06/05/2015 15:28:26

If you love dealing with people, travelling, and are self-motivated and can handle pressure, you could have the makings of a great Sales Representative.

Sales representatives sell goods and services to retail or wholesale outlets. They also sell to professional bodies, individuals and business/industry in general. Sales Representative positions often involve regular travelling to visit customers; locally, interstate or overseas.

While this may sound exciting, there's a lot of pressure on sales representatives to meet monthly sales targets/budgets. The company you work for is usually relying on you to bring in sales and keep the business turning over income. So your sales results are likely to be constantly monitored.

Sometimes a Sales Rep may be travelling away from home for weeks at a time. It takes a certain personality to be successful at this type of job.

You need:

  • To be very well groomed.
  • Be confident and friendly.
  • Be able to present information in a clear and interesting manner.
  • Enjoy dealing with people and be an excellent communicator.
  • Be able to work well under pressure.
  • Be very self-motivated and able to take the initiative to get new sales.
  • A good understand of sales. Be in possession of good sales skills.
  • Know your product or service well ( or learn it).
  • A social personality, natural charisma and 'gift of the gab' isn't essential, but it can really help.
  • Be happy to travel and be away from home for periods of time.

A Sales Representatives regular tasks may include:

  • Visiting clients to demonstrate products, give samples, take orders. Expand current business. Increase current orders.
  • Finding new potential clients/generating new business. (This may involve researching, cold calling, making appointments, networking).
  • Lots of travelling
  • Dealing with other marketing personnel to help work out the best promotion methods
  • Negotiating sales, prices, credit terms. Closing the deal. Organising contracts.
  • Presentation of products using a variety of methods. Training.
  • Organizing product displays for the customer
  • Meeting monthly sales targets. Sales meetings and regularly reporting to management on your progress.
  • Finding out your customers needs and meeting them.
  • Learning about your own products as well as that of the competition. Keeping up to date with changes in the industry/products you deal with.


Most companies selling services or products need at least a few Sales Representatives. So the good news is that there are plenty of opportunities across all industries. A good Sales Representative who knows how to bring in new business and expand current business is quite sought after. Opportunities for career expansion include Regional, State and National Sales Manger positions.


Care about your customer and ensure your knowledge of the industry and products is always rock solid, detailed, and current. Ensure you keep up with current trends and potential future trends and are able to keep your customers informed. Make yourself indispensable to your customers. Offer more than just the product/service. Offer excellent knowledge and advice. Develop a good and strong rapport with your customers and let them know that they are your priority. Keep in regular contact with them, even if you are flat out busy. Listen to what your customers want and work on giving it to them. Always go the extra mile and follow up to ensure they are happy.

Do your research on the product and industry you are representing. Be innovative and bold in your efforts to find new business.


Remuneration can vary. Some companies may just pay you a salary, but most companies will pay a base salary plus commission. If you are just starting out and have little sales experience, you will probably be on a below-average salary. But once you get some experience, salaries and commissions can be outstanding. A very good sales representative who focusses on both expanding current business and bringing in new business can earn a very high salary & commission (well above average).

Sales Representatives are usually rewarded based on performance(commission). They may earn a certain percentage of the sales they make. So it is up to the individual how quickly they want to progress through the ranks and how much they want to earn. This is why innovative, self-motivated, confident,well presented & social type people usually do extremely well in Sales Rep roles.


Sales Representative often have a lot of pressure on them to perform (bring in the sales dollars). Some people cannot handle the stress and pressure involved. Because of the commission or bonus component, a Sales Representatives income may vary from month to month, and that can be stressful in itself. Management also puts regular pressure on their Sales Representatives to perform. In weekly or monthly Sales Meetings, a Sales Representative usually has to report on their sales and their plans for future sales.

If you have a family or pets, then travelling a lot may also add more pressure to your relationships with them. Living out of a suitcase sometimes can also be stressful and exhausting.

But to the right person, the excitement of travel, meeting new people, challenges and potential unlimited income can make the job well worth all the risks and stress.

Recommended Courses

An excellent module to get you started, is:


Sales Skills




After that, expand your skills and get a formal qualification with:


Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Marketing)


This includes subjects such as Sales Management, Marketing, Advertising & Promotions, Marketing Systems.





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